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[untitled]

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00:31:00

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San Francisco 15, America 8, Chiu 6, Julie Bryant 3, Us 3, The City 2, Jane Kim 1, Peter Grick 1, Malia Cohen 1, Scott Wiener 1, Jennifer 1, David Chiu 1, Epa 1, The Puc 1, Mta 1, Meridian 1, Ted 1, United States 1, Biodegrade 1, Madam 1,
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  SFGTV    [untitled]  

    February 26, 2014
    4:00 - 4:31am PST  

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looking into meridian's future, she says she wants to keep doing the same thing that she has been doing since 1989. to enlighten and disturbed. >> i really believe that all the arts have a serious function and that it helps us find out who we are in a much wider sense than we were before we experienced that work of art. ♪ >> good afternoon, welcome to
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the san francisco board of supervisors land use and economic development committee. i am scott wiener, the chair of the committee. to my left is supervisor malia cohen, a member of the committee, and our committee vice-chair, supervisor jane kim will be joining us shortly. we are also joined today by supervisor david chiu. madam clerk, are there any announcements? >> yes. please silence all cell phones and electronic devices. speaker cards and copies of any documents to be included as part of the file should be submitted to the clerk. items acted upon today will appear on the march 4th, 2014 board of supervisors agenda unless otherwise stated. >> thank you. and i'd also like to thank s.f.g. tv for broadcasting today's hearing, specifically jennifer low and bill jillian. so, madam clerk, will you please call item number 1? >> item number 1 is an ordinance amending the environment code to restrict the sale or distribution on city property of drinking water in plastic bottles of 21 ounces or less, set city policy to increase the availability of drinking water in public areas, and bar the use of city funds
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to purchase bottled water, and making environmental findings. ~ water. >> and, supervisor chiu is the author of item number 1. supervisor chiu. >> colleagues, thank you. thank you, colleagues. i very much appreciate your consideration of our legislation to hopefully [speaker not understood] plastic water bottles on city property. in recent months as we've all seen the extreme water conditions and drought in our country, in our world, the need to combat global warming cannot be more urgent. as our city has led the fight for the environment, we need to be a leader to our addiction in plastic bottled water. our world was not addicted to plastic bottled water. only in the 1990s did the now $60 billion plastic bottled water experience growth based on marketing campaigns. but before that, [speaker not understood], everyone around the world has managed to stay
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hydrated. in 1976, the average american drank 1.6 gallons of bottled water a year. in 2007 that number has increase today an average of over 28 gallons per person. today americans buy more than half a billion bottles of water every week, enough to circle the globe twice. americans drink more bottled water than any other country. in our city where ecology alone collects 10 to 15 million sing the use plastic bottled water bottles a year and that doesn't go towards bottles that go to redemption centers orland fills. tens of millions of bottled water in san francisco end up in stream [speaker not understood] on an annual basis and it takes of a thousand years for a typical bottle to biodegrade. we understand the cost of these bottles which are massive. it takes 2000 times more energy to manufacture, transport, distribute, and discard water bottles as it does to access
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tap water. now, in san francisco we're extremely fortunate to have access to healthy tap water. our hetch hetchy water costs a third of a penny per gallon versus the 1 to $4 per gallon in the single serving plastic water bot l. the quality of our tap water is tedtion over 100,000 times a year. we have some of the highest quality tap water in the united states. in the last few years i want to thank the various city departments in my office, partner on a number of efforts to develop tap water. in 2012 i sponsored first in the country legislation to acquire new buildings to install bottle filling stations. and the legislation that we are considering today is another first in the country step in this area. now, i'll note places like concord, massachusetts, 14 national park and many universities across our country have instituted outright bans on plastic water bottles. this takes a targeted approach to he dries our waste on city property and in city facilities.
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the legislation, colleagues, that i'm asking to consider, [speaker not understood], and city departments to reduce our addiction to plastic bottled water. and there are three main components it our legislation. ~ to our legislation. first for events that have access to adequate on-site municipal water, they would not be allowed to sell or distribute bottled water. in late 2016 all events in city property would need to comply. [speaker not understood] waive foot races and waivers under circumstances such as hardships and public health concerns. now, i should note that many events in san francisco have already made the transition to being plastic bottled water free. in fact, i started thinking about this legislation after our port commission decided that the america's cup would be a plastic bottle water free event. in addition to the america's cup, other events have made the transition, including san francisco oyster fest, earth
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day, ted he can san francisco, san francisco wine fest, san francisco beer week and the 75th anniversary of the golden gate bridge. second, our legislation states this new and renewal permits and leases on city property would need to include language that prohibits the sale of bottled water so that it is fair and focused on the future, the legislation does not apply to existing lessees and permit holders, only ones going forward. for example, the moscone center, which is under a management agreement until 2017, would not need to comply until that date. as with events, departments could grant waivers to permittees and lesseeses where needed. now, i want to also note that this legislation is as much about promoting healthy tap water as it is about reducing our addiction to plastic bottled water. so, the third element of this legislation as we decrease the sale of bottled water on public property, our legislation also requires city agencies to increase actions to allow for more access to public water.
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it requires fountains, filling stations, or event water hookups to be installed where there is a capital project in a heavily used public park or plaza. in the event of any capital projects, our legislation asks the city to investigate solutions that would allow events to hookup to the municipal water infrastructure. when san franciscans enjoy their favorite parks and plazas they should be able to use drinking found tans or refill reusable water bottle. in our research over the past year on this topic we learned there are many cost-effective alternatives to plastic water bottles that are already available. vendors can hookup to water lines and sell cups and many options. let me close my opening statements by thanking the many stakeholders we have worked with over the better part of the year including event producers, small business advocates, [speaker not understood], large event organizers and the managements of large venues. i also want to thank the many
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city staffers who have provided us with feedback on our gislation including the department of the environment, rec and park department, the mta, puc, department of public health, the port, real estate, and others, and i also want to take a moment and thank the activists from think outside the bottle, from the corporate accountability international organization. want to also thank professor peter grick who is the president of the pacific institute, and one a prestigious macarthur fellow for his work on these issues and is the author of the book bottled and sold destroyed behind the obsession of bottled water for those interested in earning more. i want to thank s.f. travel, tom owen from the city attorney's office, and special thanks to two advisetionv, first dave cornell who was a former aid to the former president of the san francisco board of supervisors matt gonzales that first brought this issue to my attention. and i want to thank my aid catherine who spent several years working on this issue and
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many, many hours in the last year working with many of you on this. let me also mention we had included substitute legislation or legislation recently. we had addressed a lost of the concerns that have been raised over the past nine months, but there are two additional issues that we wanted to raise. one was raised by food truck operators as well as the small business commission and the department of public health about the ability of food trucks to comply quickly. we made an amendment to the ordinance to give them two additional years to come into compliance with this and that is already included in the legislation before our committee. and then the second set of amendments that we have made recently have to do with large nonprofit festivals such as pride parade and the folsom street fair because we know that these very large nonprofit organizations -- festivals will have a much harder time in complying, in part because they don't have larger budgets to think through alternative water
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solutions for thousands or hundreds of thousands of people who wanted to give them a little additional time to make the transition. and, so, we've established a level for nonprofit events that have more than 250,000 individuals to have an exemption until january of 2018. we had actually already included this amendment. there was a tiny drafting error so we're going to add again the phrase over 250,000 to make it clear that this applies to the largest nonprofit festivals. so, with that, we actually have quite a few individuals today who have worked with our office and i'd like to recognize and give them an opportunity to start the conversation. the first peter latter borne is here representing our colleague supervisor mar. i want to thank supervisor mar for his partnership with my office in support of these issues and ask him if you have any opening comments you'd like to make on behalf of supervisor mar. and then what i'd like to do is to go to presentations and initial comments from the department on the environment, from the port, the puc, rec and
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park department, and other city departments who are here, and then colleagues, hopefully we can move to public comment. so, with that, peter. >> thank you, supervisor. good afternoon. peter latter borne, aid to supervisor eric mar. very proud to be -- he is very proud to be co-sponsoring this legislation with you, very excited to see efforts for more accessible tap water to san francisco residents and less reliance on environmentally harmful bottled water. as you mentioned, corporate accountability international and the conference of mayors have taken leadership on this issue for years and we agree that san francisco needs to continue being a leader, being on the forefront of these kind of environmental policies. i also want to make sure we're not pushing people towards other less healthy choices and, so, getting more water bottle filling stations and water fountains available in areas an exciting goal we're behind. so, thank you very much for championing this. >> thank you, peter. and why don't we now go to julie bryant from the department of the environment.
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>> good afternoon, supervisors. my name is julie bryant from the department of the environment. on behalf of my department, i urge you to support supervisors chiu and mar's proposed ordinance restricting the sale and distribution of bottled water on city property and committing to expanding tap water access in public spaces. this ordinance is one simple common step approach, common sense step towards reducing our impact to the environment and increasing the water system. i'll tell you many reasons why this should be adopted. supervisor chiu, you did a very good job of covering most of these so i'll be quick. first and foremost, we have great tasting tap water in san francisco and many people agree and blind taste test tap water
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comes out on top. tap water is safe. it's tested, as supervisor chiu said, 100,000 times per year and meets all federal and state laws for safety. bottled water is expensive. it costs less than half a penny a gallon whereas most 17 ounce single serve bottled water costs about a dollar at most retail locations, making bottled water about a thousand times more expensive. and plastic water bottle litter is bad for our environment. according to the epa, plastic marine debris has great potential to alter the environment and impact humans and wildlife. since it floats at all depths of the ocean, it's widely transported by ocean currents, persists in the environment for years, and is not readily digest i believe when consumed. according to the coastal commission ~ plastic accounts for over three quarters of all debris found in the marine environment and the epa says 80% of the total marine debris
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comes from land sources. it is widely documented fish and marine life will eat plastic which causes irritation, damage to the digestive system, or even death. if plastics are kept in the gut instead of passing through fish and other animals feel full on plastic and not food which leads to malnutrition or starvation. the epa estimates that plastic marine debris effects 267 species globally, including 86% of sea turtles, 44% of sea birds, 43% of marine mammals. additionally, according to noah, plastic did he breaux come blats plastic chemicals such as pcbs, [speaker not understood] which have been shown to adhere to plastic particles at 100,000 to 1 million times the level in that of sea water drawctionv. ~. while we're not sure what percentage of plastic pollution is from bottled water, what we do know is waste prevention, that is not buying something in
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the first place, especially ones for which we have a safe, tasty and alternative for is the best way to reduce impact on the environment. but it's not just the downstream effects. it's a plastic packaging that's a concern. it is also the upstream effects. every part of the process from extraction to transportation to manufacture uses natural resources. in fact, according to the pacific institute, it's 2000 times more energy intensive than tap. and it takes three liters of water to make one liter of bottled water. another good reason to support this ordinance is bottled water bans have been in place for a long time now in san francisco. the first was the bottled water ban, executive order in 2007. it prohibited the purse of all bottled water with city funds. sipping l serve bottled water and 5 gallon containers which promoted our drinking water system. [speaker not understood] towards tap water. in most locations the transition was easy, we
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installed these hot cold and room temperature dispenses that instead hooked up to the tap. reduce truck trips by -- reducing truck trips for the delivery of the 5 gallon bottles around the city, but also helped save the city $300,000 a year on purchasing costs. and then in 2012 the port of san francisco wanted to aim higher and the department banned bottled water at all large events. on their property of over 5,000 people. we have heard concerns that restricting bottled water will steer people towards sugary beverages or alcoholic beverages. [speaker not understood] that is not the case. we have every expectation event producers will replace bottled water for tap, not eliminate water all together. additionally we have seen several new businesses start up providing tap water dispensing services for events, finding simple creative ways to supply attendees with tap water and meet everyone's hydration needs. here is an example.
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at a red bull event at port property, based on a creative way to connect to their tap water system, the walgreens sponsored the water station, provided advertising as well as revenue through the sale of branded stainless steel containers. there were thousands of attendees and they love these water dispensing systems because they were convenient. you didn't have to wait in line behind everyone who is also getting a hot dog and a beer to get your water. event producers like these stations because they do not have to pay to discard the bottles. >> i have a question. first of all i i want to just say i'm supportive of the legislation ~ and i really appreciate supervisor chiu working with folks, particularly on the impact -- a, the impacts on nonprivate festivals like pride, folsom street, et cetera, and also -- excuse me, delaying the implementation to give them time to transition, and then also providing an exemption if
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you have a situation wherefore public health reasons or logistic reasons ~ water bottles are the only realistic option. and i know that for a lot of these events, not just pride and folsom, but there are various outdoor events where it can get really warm. there's a ton of people. it's really important for people to have super, super easy access to water so that they are hydrated, so that it's a public health issue. and, so, i think it's great to have that transitioned other ways of drinking water so it's not reducing the amount of plastic bottles that inevitably go back to the environment in negative ways. so, i guess my question is just in terms of i know my own experience over time at a lot of these fairs and festivals is people have bottles of water.
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whatever their downside, the positive of bottled water, it's a small thing. it's so easy to carry around. you can stick it in your back pocket even. it makes it really, really easy for people to carry it around. what are the -- how would you anticipate people having that similar ease of getting the water, carrying it around, not having to worry about it? i mean, some of the big metal water bottles that i and others use, you're not going to carry it around with you all day at a fair. so, how -- what kind of containers will people use and how are those containers going to be better for the environment? >> i'll start with an answer for that. and just remind people that before the 1990s, for thousands of years human beingses figured out how to do this. so, if i can just transport us back to that time, ~ the most easy way for people to carry around water would be with refillable water bottles. and many event producers, particularly at these larger
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events -- and i would give as an example another planet with outside lands -- there is a new industry of being able to bring in large quantities of water so that people can refill either a refillable water bottle or use cups. and if you could imagine if you go to any typical festival where people may want to drink not water but say beer, people are able to use cups to fill up and get themselves liquids they need. so, that's a partial answer to this. but part of this legislation in the coming years is really to build the infrastructure in our city so that we are investing in easy ways for people to access waters. we've already passed legislation when it comes to new buildings, but we really want to have an emphasis on parks and plazas and outdoor spaces people can access that. but also want to ask staff if you have other things you want it add. >> that's a great answer. the picture i have at the red bull event, this woman had her coffee cup that was clearly empty and she filled it up with water.
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so, any receptacle you have. >> i appreciate that. and i think -- i think the delayed implementation for these nonprofits and street fairs, festivals, because it is going to take time in terms of the infrastructure and getting people used to a different way of consuming water. i'm not saying that there isn't a way. i know that there is. it is going to be a transition. so, i think the extra time will be very helpful. >> i think i'll just add one other thing which is we are not banning plastic water bottles all over the city. so, you could go into any corner store. you could go into any private business and purchase a plastic water bottle. it will be accessible. it will probably feel as accessible as it is today. we're just trying to change behavior and really nudge the public to understanding that hetch hetchy tap water is a real alternative and that with a little bit of change of behavior we can move in a different direction. i also think we are creating potentially new income streams
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for festival and producers that want to brand their own bottles, messages whatever event they're at, whatever opportunities there are for corporate sponsors to produce and sell these bottles which, again, allow people to consume water much more cheaply. >> and i can also add that a number -- i mentioned this earlier, but a number of small businesses have popped up. they provide services to distribute tap water to event attendees. so, i think that's another great benefit to our city. i just wanted to show you a few more pictures. there is a variety of ways that event producer can access bottled water. this was a fire hydrant. it actually has a meter attached to it, so, they were able to track how much water usage they needed and were able to reimburse the city. but outside of just [speaker not understood] and drinking fountains, there's other ways, too. this is an america's cup water
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station, another great example. a different example of refilling water. and in this case one piece of their event they actually had a tank of water available, tank of tap water available. and additionally at the department of the environment, we have a long history of working with events and businesses operating on city property to help make them a success and reduce their environmental impact. from expirectiontionv, we can provide resources to help find yee ate i have ways to implement environmental policies and have successful profitable fun events and support our excellent drinking water, municipal drinking water system ~. for all these reasons i urge you to support this ordinance. it's one small easy step to move our city toward zero waste, zero litter and protect our natural precious environment. thank you. >> thank you. i have a question for staff.
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>> [speaker not understood]. >> thank you, mr. chair. staff or the sponsor. allow me to [speaker not understood]. in recent history, recently actually, last month, there was an emergency that required north carolina and virginia to bring in several bottles of water because their water source was compromised. what happens in the event or what are the long-term planning, say something happens to hetch hetchy, there is some kind of terrorist attack or there is some kind of chemical agent that is sprayed over our water, what is our strategy? if we account for some kind of an emergency exit or, you know, way to address this concern? >> absolutely. in fact, we had specifically included language in the provision to deal with those possibilities. so, if i could just point to
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section 2406 of the legislation, it would allow departments, r city officers or agencies that are responsible for permitting youthctiontionv or issuing lease he to waive the requirements ~. if it at turns out that there are undue hardships or practical difficulties that washington ~ warrant the granting of the waiver, there are others that say if with need to rely on plastic bottled water to protect the health safety and we will if ier of our city and there is no reasonable alternative to such water, again, ~ these provisions can be waived. and i would just say that there are environmentalists here who actually thought these waivers were probably too broad, but i wanted to make sure that the concerns that you raised about the possibility that we might need plastic water bottles could be dealt with and we had a clear process for city agencies to create these exemptions. >> so, what exactly are these triggers? how would we know when we would have to suspend the legislation?
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>> so, the standard is with the language that i just described. and city officers and departments as they are trying to decide whether certain events or certain leases would -- they would permit the allowance of plastic water bottles, they would be allowed during that process to use these standards of undue hardship, practical difficulties, other circumstances that warrant granting a waiver, health, safety, welfare, i think the standards are pretty clear here. and that would be, you know, certainly the circumstance that you describe if all of a sudden san francisco was in desperate need of plastic water bottles would fit here. >> he thank you. thank you. ~ >> thank you very much. >> we have a number of other city departments. i'd like to invite up richard bern ham for the port here? i'd like to thank the port because when they proposed their zero event waste policy specifically for the america's cup that is what i think got a number of us thinking about the possibility of being able to do
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this, given the successes of the america's cup and phase out water bottles. i'd love to give you an opportunity to talk about that. >> thank you, supervisor. good afternoon. richard bern ham [speaker not understood]. we already shared our experience at the port, both the implementation of our policy as well the drivers that brought us to that point. the supervisor is right that the america's cup event was a significant visible and large event and it was a great opportunity for us to look at this. but the fund patval drivers are in large part tied to proximity. we are a port. we are at the water's edge. we are in proximity to the water and the windy environment. we have a challenge trying to control waste and debris that gets into the bay. we've all heard about the pacific plastic jar, large texas size swirls of plastic in the ocean. we even had a tenant who built a boat out of plastic bottles
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to sail it through that plastic to bring it to attention. it is something we've been aware of sometime. we looked at this in part through our obligationed under the state municipal stormwater program which requires us to keep debris out of the waters of the state ~. we review every lease, license, or event for environmental conditions. and, so, we have been acute eye for the potential impacts of what occurs on port property. we also, like all departments, have a zero waste program, zero waste coordinator and climate liaison. so, we had a nexus of various environmental concerns that as i say are particularly acute because of a proximity to the water. so, with that in mind, we were concerned to look at ways to reduce the possibility of plastics getting into the bay. our policy is zero waste event policy that focuses not just on
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single use plastic water bottles, but also single use plastic food wear, single use plastic bags, ~ and the potential release of balloons. the policy implies to 5,000 events participants as well as attendees. and we have thus far in the last two years -- it's been two years since we had the policy commission. we approved 125 events which require this policy. about 65 of those were tied to the america's cup. so, separate from that we had about 60 events independent of the america's cup. we found that we've had good experience with all of you have seen good examples from julie bryant about how people were able to solve that solution providing water for the various events. i appreciate the refinement that this draft ordinance brings to the definition of
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water. it's not easy, carbonated watter and vitamin waters and other types of waters are tricky. i think its was handled well in the language here. and it provides for the waivers which we feel are important. we are looking into mapping all of our spigots, water spigots so when we have a special event, we can provide a map to the special event holder showing where all the spigots are. it's necessary because where there might be large quantities over duration, we can show them where the meters are. so, we've had a good experience and we think this is a nice extension of our pilot efforts to try to keep the plastics out of the bay. i guess the final thing i would add, even though i'm probably dating myself, is another solution to plastic water bottles goes back i remember in the '70s, the boda bags typically filled with wine, but they do hold water as well. so